tv Washington This Week CSPAN April 21, 2014 2:00am-3:51am EDT
>> we let them escape over the other side of the mountain because we said that his pakistani territory. think for a moment. can you imagine during world war battle ofe won the midway which changed entire war against japan, he sailed across international date line in the pacific and attacked the fleet,e, destroyed their 1942. he went across international date line. supposing here turned back and said well, that is international dateline and japan has said if we don't cross it, we will take this part of the pacific and you take that and we will live happily ever after very at we
get to these mountains in the middle of nowhere, and we allow al qaeda to escape? it makes no sense. becomeire country had more legalistic. we should have gone and finished it right then. >> this month, book to these book selection is the wrong war. >> in his annual call in program thursday, russian president vladimir putin was asked about ukraine, crimea, and other foreign policy questions. president putin also told viewers he does not fear the enlargement of nato, and later answered a question about nsa contractor snowden and government mass surveillance. this is his 12th session.
this is courtesy of the english language news channel "russia today." [applause] >> hello, everyone. welcome mr. putin here. we are going to continue picking up your call today. you can call us at the number you see on your television screen. you can send a text message. you're welcome to phone us from the moscow region for free. for those abroad, you can see the telephone number on the
screen. we have received over 2 million questions so far. we are going to hit a new record. lots of messages are simple. like, "thank you for crimea." >> nice to see you. let me remind you that you can send your question by video, to your computer. there are two websites accepting your messages. you still have time to do it. i would like to bring your attention to the fact that we are going to provide transmission for people with hearing disabilities today. >> we are going to talk about ukraine, where events are unfolding at a very dramatic pace. on the 17th of february, no one would think that crimea would be
part of russia and that people have to thank, in the east of ukraine, these would be sent from the kiev government. mr. putin, what would you say about events unfolding in eastern ukraine? >> to characterize these events, let me go back a step and look at what happens in ukraine in the recent past. before that was a time when president viktor yanukovych chose not to sign this document on the association with the eu. it was not an abandonment. he said that would deteriorate the social and economic situation in ukraine. for the citizens, he thought
they would need to think about it. unrest followed, which led to unconstitutional takeover of power. some people liked that, others don't. in the east and the southeast of ukraine, people began to get worried about the future of their children, meaning that they have a desire -- there was nationalism. threats were expressed. there was a desire to cancel some of the russian minority rights, even though that is not exactly a minority in that part of ukraine. they are the indigenous population. but the attempt was made to cancel early decisions about the use of their native tongue.
and of course, this was a problem for those people. what began happening is that instead of setting up a dialogue and helping these people, there was sent from kiev the local oligarchs, billionaires, and by that time -- there was not trust in those billionaires. they were sent as administrators. that led to additional discontent and people began to offer the wrong reasons. what did the kiev authorities do? they put them in prison. all of that against the background of military units.
they began threatening to use force in the east. the east began to arm themselves. instead of realizing something was going wrong with the government of the states, instead of attempts to start a dialogue, they began threatening them with force. they moved tanks and aircraft against the civil population. that is one of the serious crimes of today's authorities in kiev. i hope you will be able to understand what kind of pitch, what kind of habits, the situation is turning into, with authorities dragging their country down that road with them. it is critical today to think together about how we can come out of this situation to offer to people this real, not artificial, dialogue. kiev leaders come to the west. whom do they meet in the west?
they meet their own representatives. you do not have to go out. you just call them into kiev. you need to talk to people, to their real representatives. those whom people trust. bring them out of the prisons. help them organize themselves. in the east, they talk about federalization. in kiev, they talk about de-federalization. what is behind those words? we need to sit around the table, start negotiating. we are talking about dialogue, about democratic procedures, not the use of force. without intimidation, that is how you can put your country to order. >> we have a dialogue between the diplomats and the meeting has opened that is going to feature four party talks in
geneva. could you explain russia's stance at these talks? >> i explained to you, we believe this should not just be a showcase of all those people for themselves. they should have this dialogue with the people, searching for compromise. >> what would you respond to the statements coming from the west and kiev that claim that russia stands behind the uprisings in the eastern part of ukraine, that russia is allegedly sponsoring and financing these uprisings? >> it is nonsense. no russian units in the east of ukraine, no instructors, no special forces. those are all local residents. the best proof of that is that people, in the direct sense of the word, removed their masks. my western partners -- they have nowhere to go. they have no contingency plans. they are the masters of that land.
you need to be talking with them. >> we can talk about ukraine a little bit later. let's move over to crimea and the decision you took on crimea. throughout your whole political career, you never made any mention of reunification with crimea. you never spoke about it directly. how did you take that decision? did anyone speak against it? what were the potential risks that you evaluated? from sanctions to a civil war. >> the risks for the russian-speaking population -- they were quite real. this led the people of crimea, the residents of crimea, think about their future and turned to russia for help. and this is what we were governed by. i mentioned during my speech in
the kremlin that russia never planned any annexation or military actions in crimea. we wanted to build our relations with ukraine based on the current geopolitical situation. we also always thought and hoped for that our russian speaking people in ukraine were in a comfortable political situation and would not be suppressed. they would not be threatened. a situation came up with potential threats and repressions when the people of crimea began saying that they wanted self-determination. then we began thinking about, what should we do? it was only then, not 5, 10, 20 years ago, did we make the decision to support representation in crimea.
nobody on the security council with whom i discussed this question objected, everybody supported my decision. i am pleased to admit that. whatever was offered as a final action, everything was followed in a highly professional manner. it was done quickly and decisively. there is no analog from global history. >> this has been really unprecedented, i would say. just as the referendum was organized in a really speedy way for the security issues, the way in which they were solved, the ukrainian military bases being stormed -- i had the feeling
that something had been prepared. >> it was not prepared in advance. we were acting based on the situation and the spur of the moment. it was done very professionally. our task was not to act with our armed forces in the true sense of the word. we had to ensure the residents were safe and they can express their will. that is what we did. without the support of the crimean themselves, that would not be possible. moreover, until the very last day, i never wrote the very last line, that i would send to the federal assembly on reunification with crimea because i was waiting for the results of the referendum. it is one thing when you have sociological surveys. it is a different thing when you are looking at the will of the entire population.
it is important to feel and see what their will is. when we saw the turnout was 86% and 96% plus voted for joining with the russian federation, it was clear that it was an overwhelming majority, pretty much the entire crimean population. >> right. let's invite the residents to join us. we have our film crew working there. ♪ [applause] >> hello, mr. president. i'm really happy to see my
here he is. >> right here is the base, the famous one, where the black sea fleet of the russian navy has been based for over 200 years. we have people from all corners of crimea. we are ready for dialogue with you. we are ready to talk to you, mr. president. [applause] >> this is the heart of sevastopol. we have all of the historic landmarks. you have got lots of citizens coming here with flowers to this monument every day. this is really special. the residents of sevastopol 23 years choose their right to speak russian, to be russian, and at the referendum, almost the whole city voted for reunification with russia. who would like to ask their
question? >> hello, mr. president. the civilian personnel at the military base are concerned about the black sea navy. for a lot of us, this provides employment, as well as a really unique plant that is involved in repairing arms. what is going to be the future of these plants? >> you know this better than anyone else in russia. we had agreements with ukraine about the revamping of our fleet, upgrading of our fleet, but unfortunately those agreements were not followed and we had some problems with the re-equipping of our fleets. the navy ships and support ships will be moved to sevastopol.
number two, we have great potential in crimea in terms of shipbuilding and ship repair work. volume will be concentrated there for the repair of ships at the crimean shipyards. the minister of defense deployed or made an order and we will increase the potential of crimea. it has been sitting idle for a while.
we're going to move in that direction, and sevastopol is a city of russian military and naval glory, and this is what we will base our actions on. [applause] >> there are were lots of really various ethnicities in sevastopol. the recent tragedies that fell upon lots of people and residents. i know this includes you. you can ask one of the questions. >> hello, mr. president. my name is nina.
>> we are all governed by certain emotions, but if we love each other and respect each other, we have to try to find a way to understand each other. more simple betwene countries and states, i'm sure we will find mutual understanding with ukraine. we will return to that problem again. let me point this out. if we respect each other, then we will have to recognize the right of each other for our own choice and people who live in ukraine have to respect the choice that the residents of crimea made. that is my first thought. my second thought is that russia is next to ukraine and it will always be ukraine's close neighbor. they will remember the help we provided to ukraine for many years.
hundreds of billions of dollars. it is not only the money. we are connected by a lot of common interests. if you want to be successful, we have to be cooperate. this understanding will come, despite all emotional difficulties that we experience today. [applause] >> we will take one more question from sevastopol. >> here in sevastopol, we have people coming from all over crimea. lots of people are saying it has been the third line of defense. remember, there have been two wars that sevastopol was involved in.
now people are saying for 23 years they spent fending for the city of sevastopol, this was the third period in their history when they had to defend their city. the people are saying, what will follow the reunification? >> hello, mr. president. my name is yvgeny. i want to thank you for making us come back home. now we can call ourselves russian. [applause] thank you, thank you. but now that the government in ukraine is doing its best to
impair the lives of the crimeans, we have all of the banking sector fleeing crimea. we have problems with bank transfers. people cannot get deposits back because the ukrainian banks are ignoring the interests and demands of the depositors. my question is as follows -- how can the russian government fix this situation? >> today, it is one of the most topical and least regulated problems. i'm sure there are other problems in the power sector, and water, but the banking -- that issue has not been resolved fully.
we are trying to negotiate with our ukrainian partner. so far, it is failing. the head of the department, they do not, they are not willing to move to work with us. this only makes us split our power movement to rubles. we are looking at opening accounts and creating a banking network. it takes time to do it at a high level. we will need about a month to open the required amount of
accounts and create the networks. with all of the necessary equipment. you mentioned pensioners and people who get their salaries from the budget. there are economic issues as well. this is all a passing thing. we will overcome that. the pensioners and those who get money from the budget, you know, the government of the russian federation has made a decision that they should be made equal to russian pensioners and budget inquiries to avoid the surge of inflation and the cause of the crisis -- we made a decision to follow a step by step process to increase by 25% the income of the pensioners and budget professionals from april 4. then another 25% from may 1. then another 25% from june 1. then finish the remaining fund a 25% increase on the first of july.
over this time, the increase of pensioners, state-employed professionals -- for the pensioners, there used to be a 100% difference between the income of russian pensioners and ukrainian pensioners. russian pensioners get two times more than the ukrainians. in russia it is 11,600. they used to get 5500 in ukraine. we have a lot of military servicemen in crimea. there are a lot of crimean residents and our servicemen get paid four times more than the ukrainian counterparts. i hope that people living in crimea will feel the advantages of joining the russian federation in a material sense, not to mention the development of the crimean economy, the development of tourism. that is what we will talk about later.
they were part of ukraine, they should not be lost. even if russia does not have similar things, using additional subsidies for the crimean budget, we will keep those and at the same time the residents of crimea and sevastopol will get all social allowances that are stipulated by the russian laws for the russian citizens. >> one more question from sevastopol, please. >> mr. president, lots of people consider crimea a resort. what about our industry and agriculture? what is russia going to do to develop all of the industries in crimea? my second question is that you promised to create a free economic zone, a free economic area, what will that mean for ordinary crimeans? >> you are correct. crimea is associated with tourism, but it also has an economic industrial and
agricultural potential. these enterprises require additional organization and extra capital. i mentioned shipbuilding and ship repair. they have some promising infrastructure facilities. they have agriculture. compared with 1990, unfortunately, if we compare how crimean agriculture work to then and now, agricultural production went down by 60%. in 2014, agriculture companies of crimea produced only 40% of what they produced in 1990. agriculture also requires additional investment. that is also an issue that has to be resolved.
the producing of rice requires a lot of water. this requires time and capital investment. this is what we will also be doing. the services and recreational facilities -- crimea is a base of the russian navy and also a resort for the entire soviet union. this is what we are going to develop as well. unfortunately, facilities, they are building an infrastructure that has deteriorated. we visited the forts and found out that some of them cannot even be used for accommodations. how did people come there? it is shameful to admit, but people were saying that they were just drinking alcohol and went to the beach.
we cannot have that kind of approach. it will require additional investments of capital and a free economic zone that you just mentioned. we will move russian capital to crimea to speed up the development, to let the residents of crimea have their own proposals. we met the mayor of sevastopol and she talked about creating a development agency. i'm sure we are on the right track. we will get positive thoughts. >> i'm going to introduce a little bit of criticism. lots of text messages are saying that perhaps crimea may lose its
identity, so to speak. people are going to build lots of beautiful palaces, gardens, mansions. there has been no elementary utilities in crimea and there will not be any. >> they have enough castles in crimea. i think what they are lacking is this close attention to recreational facilities for the masses. like mushrooms, they spring up those castles for the rich people, for oligarchs. that is related to violations of
the ecological legislation. i spoke to federal authorities in crimea. we need to do everything we can to make timely decisions to get rid of such a way of developing the territories there. >> another text message is saying, who were those young people? >> those polite young gentlemen, you mean? i already mentioned that a few times before publicly in my conversations with my foreign colleagues. our task was to ensure that there are conditions for the free expression for the rule of crimeans were present. we wanted to avoid radicals and nationalists armed with automatic weapons.
25,000 troops that are well armed. the warehouses with weapons and trains with ammunition. we had to protect the civilian population from the slightest opportunity for those weapons to be used against them. [applause] >> let's give the floor to the head of the russian navy. >> i am commander in chief, vice admiral alexander -- >> i'm sorry we can't hear you. the commander should have a commanding voice. [laughter] >> let me take this opportunity to thank all of the russians. let me thank you for the support
that we received throughout this difficulty period in crimea. over the last 23 years, there have not been any solid investments into the military infrastructure of crimea, and now it is in a really poor state, especially this has to do with accommodations for servicemen and former servicemen from the ukrainian army who joined the russian black navy. the results of your project, mr. putin, are now a source of pride for russians. are you going to take another action plan, like the submarine plan you are talking about, to accommodate russian servicemen in crimea? >> first of all, there will be a program to develop the base in sevastopol and the black sea fleet in general and will extend social programs we have in russia to the black sea fleet in sevastopol and also provide accommodations.
>> mr. putin, you mentioned crimean self-defense. we have some of the representatives from the self-defense units here in the studio. some of them are crimean officers and some of the cossacks. there were some dramatic moments. once the officers were ahead of the extremists coming to crimea, they helped avoid tragedy, actually. i would like to give the floor to yuri. >> his original units were deployed in kiev at a very complicated time.
at a certain time, they were actually abandoned and they told me how they took their own decisions, how they collected their injured and wounded fellow officers, and they were constantly being fired at. >> hello. i am the commander. my name is yuri. here is what i want to say. my units were in kiev when the maidan activists took power over from yanukovych. we were being fired at. people threw stones at us, fired shots at us. we got dozens of people injured and killed. but there was an order to avoid bloodshed. but then we were betrayed.
so i have got a question. you have long been in contact with victor yanukovych in the coverage, especially when he was president of ukraine, has he always been such a traitor? [applause] >> you know, in russia we have this expression that any czars -- of head of any state bears a huge burden of responsibility. at critical times, a person acts according to his experience and his values. as for viktor yanukovych, he did his duty as he felt necessary. of course, i spoke with them many times during the crisis and after he ended up in the russian federation. we spoke about the possibility of the use of force.
as for the special force, for sure you and your friends did an honest and professional job. you did your professional duty. it makes me and others respect to you and your comrades, your other servicemen, but eventually what happened to you and your colleagues in kiev right now, this will hurt the ukrainian state back. you cannot -- you should not smear them. you should not avoid giving them medical assistance when they are in hospital.
i know people from there who are in the hospital right now. they are not only not treated, but they are not even fed. we get no response. if the government treats the people like that, people who do their duty professionally, i doubt anyone could be doing that in the future. and that is what we are seeing right now. in the final analysis, i think people will realize how professional you were when you followed your orders, and we thank you. [applause] >> now, our viewers have a lot of questions on ukraine, with
lots of historical reference. one describes the situation -- when the chilean president died protecting his country, but viktor yanukovych fled his country. would you fight to defend russia's independence? >> i would not say he fled. he had to go to a region of ukraine first. when viktor yanukovych signed that agreement on the first of february, there were three european prime ministers of poland, france, and germany, he believed it was there.
and that it would be followed. according to that agreement, he would not use the army and air force. he would withdraw units from the capital, and the opposition would leave the buildings they took over, destroy their barricades and disarm their armed units. viktor yanukovych agreed to have early elections to the parliaments. he agreed to return to 2004 constitution, to the elections in december. if they asked him to, he would even agree to provisional elections in a month or two. he would agree to anything, but no. as soon as he left kiev and
withdrew military units from the capital, immediately the opposition did not stop there. they captured the building of his administration. this was a coup d'éta classic coup d'état in every sense of the word. why did they have to do that? why did they have to act so unprofessionally and stupidly and put their country in that situation? i cannot understand that, and nobody has an answer to that. nobody can answer that. as for me, a person makes a decision in a critical situation based on his entire life experience and of his values.
you know, i used to work at the kgb over external intelligence, and we had our special training. one of the key elements of that training that you have to be absolutely loyal to your people and to your country and to your state. country and to your state. >> of course the ukraine, crimea, and the coup d'état is a really debated issue. for instance, 96% of all russians said they were right on the reunification with crimea, but some people disagree. today in our studio we have representatives of both points of view, so some of these people include those who spoke favorably of reunification. let's give the floor to them. let me remind you that some of artists and musicians and performers in russia signed a letter, more than 500 people signed a letter thanking mr.
putin for reunification with crimea, and this was a highly debated letter. how would you explain your stance? >> i have repeatedly said there are two points i would like to make. the first point is that my father took part in the liberation of crimea. when he was 20 years old, he was the head over the artillery brigade. he took part on the assault, and by the way, and he originally comes from armenia, and neither he nor his comrades had any doubts that it was a russian city. he would probably not understand me if i took any other stance. when ukrainian statehood actually ceased to exist, there are no grants for the crimean people to have no right to determine their own future. in this sense, i do not really agree with mr. putin, that the ukrainian parliament is legitimate to a certain extent.
but i don't really agree because i would say a parliament that that canceled its own constitution can be legitimate at all so i don't think there's any reason that parliament and ukraine today, so the crimean people had their own right to determine their future. but of course, i know this was a difficult decision to make, and it has had and will have far-reaching international consequences. my question to you, mr. putin, is as follows -- over the last 10 years we have been moving forward, closer and closer with china, and this progress on our side is reciprocated from china.
do you think there will be a military alliance taking shape between russia and china? >> thank you for your position on crimea and your support. as for our relations with the people's republic of china, they are developing quite successfully at a high level in terms of the level of trust and cooperation. this had to do with political sphere and our approaches to how we assess the global situation and how we ensure safety and security in the world. this is the basis of our
intergovernmental relations. we are neighbors, and in that sense natural allies. we are not talking about forming some military or political association with them. i think the bloc-based system in the world has exhausted itself. nato was created to counterbalance the soviet union and the policy of the soviet union in eastern europe, and the russia pact was created in response to that, and then the soviet union ceased to exist and nato is still there. we are told it is becoming a political organization. but nobody canceled article five of their charter about mutual military support. who is that? again, where is nato expending? against whom? to create new blocks like that, we have not thought about it, but for sure we will be expanding our cooperation with china. 27.5 is our turnover with the west, and with china, it's $87 billion.
it keeps growing in china. it is turning into, as experts well know, economically, power number one in the world. the only question is when. 10 years, 20, 25 years later, but for sure it is going to happen, and with such a huge population of 1.5 billion, and as they modernize their economy, it is a settled deal. and it is a fact. i know for sure, we will develop our cooperation with china. we have never had so much trust in the military sphere. we are running joint military exercises on the sea, offshore in china and in russian federation. this gives us reason to believe that the russian/chinese relations will be a significant factor in the global politics
and will significantly influence the modern international relations architecture. >> mr. putin, i would like to come back to the letter in support of crimea. i would like to ask you -- what do you think of this kind of public letters? >> again, i am thankful to all who share my position and support my position on crimea and other issues. as for such public statements, such letters, it is a matter for every person. i know mr. -- for a while, but i did not know what his political views are. i did not expect that he would
state in his own words our joint position on a number of problems. as for collective letters like that, that is possible, but it should not be formal. it should be natural, according to one's mind and hearts desires. it should not be formally organized. that is what i cannot support. that is not necessary. >> i think we should continue with this issue of reunification of crimea.
with the russia, i can see my colleague, a popular journalist, we used to work together 20 years ago. i would like to introduce him now. andre is a journalist. you are known for your quite independent position that you take on various events. but you said you supported reunification with crimea. but why did you say that? why did it cause so much criticism from your colleagues? >> i think it is not so much about the crimea story. it is really about my stance on the tv and radio station, the situation that happened.
to me, actually, this testifies to a problem i faced a few years ago. i am really very concerned over the fact that lots of young people had a somewhat distorted picture of the world. i work as a journalist, but i have to put in some effort, you know, to explain to some of my colleagues that patriotism and edictism are not the same thing, but i believe for a teenager or a child, it is really important to follow the trend, so to speak. but the russian government, the russian state has not set any trends. it is out of fashion to be a patriot now. that is what i am trying to explain. when i was walking here to come
here into the studio, i thought that i would be convinced that i am right. i have got four children, and my younger children are still in school. and the school has now shifted the responsibility for bringing up and educating the children to parents' shoulders, and we worked hard on this problem. we found a cadet school in moscow region, and the education at this school is based on historical tradition, the traditions of military service. most of the teachers are servicemen who actually bring up the children according to tradition of law for the whole land. they learn, the cadets, the young guys learn respect for women, for older people. they are accustomed to discipline and physical exercises. in other words, at the cadet
school, they are trained to become real men. this is what they only do in 15 moscow schools. these schools are very few and far between. what i am suggesting is that probably you should have some legislation and pass some legislation for these cadet schools. perhaps we could create and set up some foundations in the russian region that would help families with single-parent families who would like to send their kids to their schools, and then maybe patriotism would come back into trend and back into fashion. >> the idea is not fashionable in our motherland. maybe somewhere in your circle it is not fashionable. i was referring to my journalistic experience. look at how the events in crimea emotionally impacted the
society. we just found out that we do have patriotism. it is part of our nation, our nature as a nation. if even you, a journalist, were touched by this lack of love for our motherland and if you are troubled by that, that means patriotism is rooted deeply in you, too. it is no accident that you gave your children to that particular cadet school. perhaps we need to learn about that and see if we have the regulatory framework. let's look at this. i am sure we are moving in the
right direction here, but should we do something on the legislative level here? i am not sure. but i promise we will look into that, and we will certainly develop this new form of training. you are right, and you are probably an affluent person, and you gave your child to such military-based school, but for some families with income problems, with just one supporter, maybe a father, it is really important to create a situation in which a child to be morally educated, to be raised, and to be given an education. let's look at this, see how we can provide for that financially. by the way, in crimea we also plan to create similar educational institutions.
>> now, mr. putin, you probably know that the people who disagree with the reunification of crimea and russia have been really vocal, and some of them have presented some really tough wording. people are calling for people to shoot at russian soldiers. other people are calling for western powers to exert sanctions on russia. so we've got some people are against the reunification right here in this studio.
as we have already mentioned, the russian polls have shown that the people who have opposed the reunification are in the minority, but some of them are really famous. they include politicians, actors, singers, etc. they have been vocal in deed. their voices have been heard. we would like to ask why this dispute emerged in our society? >> mr. putin, i think there have been some false claims, and it shows that it is time to stop the media war. you should not ascribe these clichés to people who are trying
to oppose your point of view in a very gentle and polite way. i believe that crimea has always needed some sort of national identification, but they have always wanted to be part of russia. now that everything has happened, you have won. you have indeed conducted a superior operation without making a single shot. you are right in saying that these green people, the so-called green guys, are the russian military servicemen who
protected our own people, our russian people. this is really important to avoid any further speculation. you also resorted to compromise. you sent your foreign minister, mr. lavrov, to speak directly to the ukrainian government in kiev, which is the only authority you can speak to in ukraine. "time" has called you the most influential politician in the world. i would like to state that we did not start the war, but only those who won the war will be able to put an end to this war because ordinary people in crimea will soon feel that they depend a lot on what is happening in ukraine. lots of the ordinary people are increasingly feeling the consequences of the struggle between the members of their families even. let me tell you, as a former politician, that europe has never solved any questions because it does not like solving these problems, these questions.
it likes resting. it likes a calm life. we are engaged in dialogue with the united states, and ahead of the election, russia is insisting on a referendum on regionalization or a constitutional conference before the election actually takes place. but i believe that as long as russia and the u.s. continue to stick to their own positions and their views, the war will spill over into the whole space out and neither you nor the russians nor the crimean's nor the ukrainians nor the russians and ukraine will actually like that. the possible compromise involves a regionalization of the ukraine, which means the east and some in ukraine will be able to speak russian, to have their
own authority. but at the same time, we should recognize that we need an early election to make sure that everything calms down in ukraine. so do you think russia can offer a compromise between russia and the u.s.? on the one hand, we are going to have elections in the ukraine on the 25th. on the other hand, by some diplomatic means, they will agree. do you think this is possible at home? >> can compromise be found on ukraine, between the u.s. and russia? compromise should be found not before third parties, but between political forces within the ukraine itself. that is the key issue. from the outside.
we can just support it and follow that. what goes first -- the referendum on constitution first and then the election, or should we stabilize the situation first so we have elections and then the referendum? the important question is, we need to ensure lawful rights and interests of russian speaking residents in the southeast of russia. under the czar, this is called new russia. this was never part of the ukraine. these territories were passed on to ukraine in 1920 by the soviet government. why the soviet authorities did that, i don't know, but it all happened after potemkin and
catherine the great's victories in the wars. the center was in new russia. today they are citizens of ukraine, but they should have equal rights with other citizens. it is not the point what comes first. the referendum or the elections. the election and then the change of the state structure. the problem is the guarantees for those people. we have to make them understand that ukraine needs to find the solution to this question of where are the guarantees. those who live in ukraine in the southeast will ask the current government in kiev, tomorrow you will forget about that.
other times we will send another oligarch to rule us. where are our guarantees? this is what we need to resolve. i hope the answer to this question will be found. [applause] >> i would like now to give the floor to another lady. she has a distinct stance. irina is the editor in chief of a leading literature journal in russia. >> mr. putin, i will probably talk a little bit about the culture aspects of the crimean events. you probably remember that when gerard depardieu was looking for russian citizenship, he was speaking of his life in russia as an amazing, great culture,
and probably the crimean events have given a certain impetus to the events in culture. we have got persecution against modern art, we have got people accusing culture, the artist, of all sorts of mortal sins, and culture is becoming a place of ideology. so there is internal division that the people themselves are introducing. when the people who speak up with alternative positions are denied being a patriotic person, they are called unpatriotic. i believe that everyone understands that what happens in crimea was not -- was actually a
forced event. so this kind of alienation, anger that we have inside the russian society, was lots of even politicians speaking against people with an alternative point of view, do think this is going to deprive russia of the status of the great cultural power. >> thank you for your question. to be honest with you, i do not feel any special change in the situation, any special tension, even after the events in crimea. of course, there is this battle between motives and opinions, but everyone is free to express. nobody imprisons anybody for anything. nobody is sent to labor camps like in 1937. people express their opinions freely.
people who do that are sound and healthy, and they are continuing to do their. professional duty but it's only. natural that they find the. opposition and the other people. who oppose them. some of our intelligentsia are not used to that. some of those believe what they say is the absolute truth and when they hear an objection, they become very emotional. as for the situation the last couple of months in crimea, yes, i heard some intellectuals want defeat for their own country. and they think it would be better. and that is also part of our tradition. if you remember the bolsheviks during world war i also called for the defeat of their own government or their own country, which led to the revolution.
you know, there is a historical continuity here and not the best one. i agree we should not use extreme forms of discussion or fights. we should not smear people for their position. and i will try to do my best to avoid that. >> we have been on air for over an hour. let's take some of the phone calls. thank you, caller. we have calls coming from ukraine, crimea, border regions. borders with ukraine. we are now going to take a call from irkutsk, russia. roman.
i would like to ask you, is mr. putin supports the idea of bringing russian troops to the southeast of ukraine? >> we should not be euphoric about what is happening and should always use our actions on the reality. the makeup of ukraine is different from southeastern russia. those territories were given to ukraine in. 1920's and then until 1954 when crimea also was given to ukraine for some reason, the ethic
competition makeup was approximately 50/50. the final decision to return crimea was only made after i had seen the results of the referendum. we couldn't have made any other choice. here, the southeast of ukraine situation is not that clear, but i know for sure that we need to do the best to help these people protect their rights and independently define their destiny. this is what we're going to federation council of russian federation gave the president the right to use the armed. forces in ukraine but i do hope that i will not have to use this right. so politics and diplomacy will be able to resolve all these
issues that we have today in ukraine. southeast of ukraine that's suffering, but there's the new government on the other side. so i've got a text message. what is russia's chance on the currency situation? the parliament asked russia to recognize its independence. >> this is one of the most complicated problems we inherited after the collapse of the soviet union. population about half a million people if i have -- and people are really -- there are a lot of russian citizens there. they have their own idea about how they should be building their future. and their destiny.
it's nothing else but the russians of democracy. if we allow for these people to do what they want. of course we need to find out from moldova and ukraine -- we need to intensify the negotiations according to the five plus two formula, and the five and the five countries that participate in that association. but in the final analysis, i think we need to immediately remove the blockade from ukraine. this has consequences for people living in the south eastern between moldova and ukraine. they have some nationalistic
armed units, and of course, that situation should be stopped as soon as possible. and finally, people should be given the right to decide their own destiny and that's what we're partners on the basis to live there. >> tatiana, you have the floor again. >> mr. putin, another interesting question. russia actually made an annexation of crimea. so does this mean there is any guarantee of sovereignty in the world? >> russia didn't acquire ukraine by force. russia created the conditions of the conditions for forces and armed forces but we created the conditions for the free expression of will of people
living in crimea but the decision about joining russia russia responded to that call and accepted crimea into our family. it's only natural. it couldn't have happened differently. and as for the factor of force a good thing and it will be there always. that's not the point. the point is understanding fo(+ is significant in international affairs. we need to develop such rules of behavior that we will be stable and would give all parties a chance to agree, to look for upper, to balance between interests. and it's not only about crimea.
let's recall what happened to iraq and afghanistan and libya and in other regions of the world. in my opinion, somebody tried to make the world a uni-polar one. there it can be decided by force. but when you have the balance of force, then we have to agree. that is what i hope we will go to, the strengthening of international law. >> we have a question from ana. sorry, she will present this question. >> we've got lots of video questions on this situation with ukraine. how russia's going to builds relations further on.
so let's watch a video link-up petersburg. midst of the russian armed forces are allegedly going to take ukraine? who is actually trying to alienate from our brothers and partners? and can we invite everyone who wants to visit the border regions with ukraine? can we do that openly? >> it has been a matter of the desire to set up or him between russia and ukraine, it has been a matter of international politics for centuries. if you can recall the expansions of the white movement leaders after the revolution, you will see that in spite of any contradictions with the
even thought about a division between russia and ukraine. they always thought it was part of one territory and one nation. now, it just happens that we live in different states and weakening and separating, these two components of one people. it is continuing. particularly, forces that are afraid of our power. look at what they did to yugoslavia. they carved up into such small pieces. they mutilated it. that is what i think some people want to do with us. but if you look at what is
happening, you answer your question yourself about who is doing that. [applause] >> there are millions of. russians in ukraine. after the events in crimea, they became pariahs, judging by what the chief government is doing and they even called on killing these guys, russians in ukraine and shooting them with firearms so there have been lots of statements like that. and there are a lot of questions about the future of the russians living in ukraine. sergei is now welcome to ask his question. after the bloodshed in february,
he called ukraine a damned land, and after he talked to the ukraine colleagues, he said he's not going to public his books at ukraine anymore and he would like his books to be translated into russia. so what is your question? >> mr. putin, for 23 years, ukraine has been opposing russia. that's what actually sort of the strategy. they even had a slogan that says ukraine is not russia. and the most horrible thing is that we have seen this come into bloom because the country is turning actual nationalists to even nazi with all sorts of military raids in the southeast probably coming up. and the problem is that russia
is not making its voice heard in the west. and it's also being blocked in ukraine as well. so my question is how can we get our point across? can we do at all? can we persuade the west to listen to us and to understand us? because i have doubts as to whether we can do it. >> certainly. sergei -- may i call you by your first name? i will disagree with you here. i know that you are one of the most interesting modern writers and a lot of your books are published. but i disagree that ukraine is a damned land. please do not use this kind of phrase. this land of ukraine has
suffered a lot and it is a complicated community. it has suffered a lot. in this phrase -- look at the nations where they have nationalism and not see of them. where are they? they are in the west. and you know about the historic. past partially, they were in czechoslovakia. never were they full-fledged citizens of those countries. probably they have something inside. breeding in them. and some people think since those territories once belonged to the eu, to today's eu countries, they have give some special -- they
were the second rate people in those historic states. it is forgotten but some people still remember that and that's where the nationalism come from -- comes from, i think. central, east, and southeast of ukraine, novarussia, new russia, which is deeply rooted in the russians states. their people have a different mentality. now they are part of the ukraine put together by the soviet union, and of course, it's not easy for people to set up those reservations to understand each other. we need to help them to do that as much as possible. what would be our role in this situation?
the role of a good neighbor of a close relative. we hope our partners beyond the ocean or in europe, will they hear us? i hope so. but at the same time, there are some doubts, apprehensions, about russia, its huge size, its growth potential, and they want to pull us apart to make a smaller. will our partners hear us? i hope they are guided by that, but i think that they should hear us, because they use the current roles looking at the trends for the nearest future and for the way this entire world and europe, from lisbon to
vladivostok, should unite to be competitive and viable in this fast and growing developing world. i hope that our partners will hear us and understand us. >> mr. putin, the question about the situation in ukraine are predominant at our website. i looked through some of them. >> i'm sorry. do not ban your books from publishing anywhere, including ukraine. >> it's not about the money. >> you are one of the best russian writers, and you are part of russian culture. let's promote russian culture there, and not pull it out of the country. ok? >> ok. we will fix that. [applause]
>> so, i have found another question that is really popular and it comes from alexander and moscow province. we refuse to communicate to communicate with the kiev governments because we think they're illegitimate and we doubt the legitimacy of the election on may 25. but ukraine will stay russia from neighbor anyway, so we will have to talk with the ukrainian authorities, legitimate or not. why don't we talk to all of the presidential hopefuls? >> i believe the current authorities are not legitimate. they cannot be legitimate, because they do not have a mandate to rule the country. at the same time, we do not reject contacts with anybody at the ministerial level.
our ministers relate to ukrainian colleagues, prime minister medvedev spoke with his counterpart. as for the potential candidates, you know how the presidential race is going. it is absolutely unacceptable. if it continues developing like that, of course we want people to recognize what is going to happen after may 25. what kind of legitimate election can they have if the candidates in the east are eaten, -- are beaten, are not allowed to meet with the voters? what kind of election is that? not to mention, particularly speaking according to the
ukrainian constitution, the question was asked, according to the constitution of ukraine unless you change it -- if you do not change the constitution, new legitimate elections without yanukovich cannot be had. you cannot have new elections if the legitimate president is not there. if they want to have a new election, perhaps they should change the constitution. change the institution first, and then maybe talk about it. that's common sense. we can continue working beyond the common sense. a big part of his business is an russia. he produces a confectionery
here, and candies, and many here tried it and he owns a chocolate factory. he is their leader. i know ms. tymoshenko personally. even though she had some emotional breakdown when she called them to shoot at russians, but i know her personally. she is fine, well-known. her own colleagues in her party refuse to follow. we have had some good business like relationship with her. i know the former governor. i may not know some of them personally, but we know what kind of people they are.
>> i am choosing my words -- this is also constitutional? >> i'm sorry. we do not call for people in the southeast to put down their arms. i say to my partner -- that is a great call, but withdraw the army from the civilians. tanks, armed personnel carriers, artillery. against whom are you going to use the artillery? have you completely lost your marbles? you have armed units of nationalists to disarm the east. ok, let's say the army will withdraw. but why have they not disarmed the nationalists? how can you force people in the
east to put down their weapons? in addition to that, the troops in the interior ministry troops and people joined them. it is not where the issue should be resolved. it is about searching for compromise, ensuring the legitimate interests of your people. >> but no one is ready for a compromise. who are you going to talk to? to the u.s., eu, the west? >> we need to agree with those who consider themselves an authority and crimea, but they should be basing their action on common sense. >> we have people in the studio were on a so-called black list,
a defection list. kitalov is one of these people. mr. putin, they promised a video link up question, and i would like to support this format. i am going to visualize my question by using my own hands to gesture. i feel like our country is being encircled in this ring, and i think people have tried to suffocate russia in this ring. it is actually nato. nato has been growing like a cancer tumor. the last 25 years, it has swallowed our warsaw pact allies, as well as parts of the baltic states, and now it is the missing to swallow georgia and ukraine. so, the nato headquarters are
saying they have to put the expedients to accept ukraine as legitimate, but you are saying the bloc system is dying out, is outdated. i can't agree with that. i feel suffocated by nato. of course you can say i am being paranoid. but you know, as the saying goes, if you are paranoid, it does not mean you are not being followed, you are not being pursued. so, where is the red line to nato expansion, to nato enlargement? as the leader of russia, how do you feel? do you feel suffocated? >> i am not afraid of suffocation. >> i am not afraid. where is the red line? are there limits?
>> neither me nor anybody should have fear, but we should be basing our activities on realities. and the realities you described quite vividly, as you can do, and you try to scare us a little bit, but i will say again, i wouldn't be afraid of anything. we should be assessing the situation in a sober manner. and the prime minister and i were once in unit doing a conference. after the unification of germany, the expansion of nato will flow towards the east. it will not go beyond the
eastern borders of nato. the then secretary general of nato promised the alliance would not go any further to the east. then it started to expand by adding the former wasp -- warsaw pact countries and the baltic states and the former ussr republics, and they used to say, why are you doing that? what is the purpose? is anybody threatening them? ok, you sign the bilateral agreement on friendship and cooperation with them on the security of those countries. this is what they told me. it's not your business. people's and nations have the right to independently choose the way they secure themselves. that is true, but it is also true this infrastructure is moving toward our borders. it makes us also take steps and the other direction. and this is our right as well. we can afford to take some
measures and response. for instance our negotiation about missile defense. it is much more important than nato expansion, i'm sure you would agree. our decision with crimea was partially connected with that. of course, this was with the support of the residents of crimea. but we have had other situations as well. if we don't do anything, after a wild -- a while, they will use the same principles and drag ukraine into nato and then they will say, it is none of your business. and the nato ships will be on the russian military's doorstep. of course, crimea is in the middle of the black sea. so, based on the military considerations, it is as not as
important as in the 18th and 19th century, considering today's weaponry. but when the nato troops go there, they will deploy those offensive weapons there, and that is of the political importance to us. russia will be pushed out from the area around the black sea. they will leave us on the shore. this is pushing out of russia from this very important region of the world, and how many russians died there in the course of all of these things? those are very serious things. let's not be afraid of anything. but we will, and we should, take that into consideration and respond, like with our missile defense negotiations.
these are not defensive systems for the u.s. this is part of the offensive potential that is moved to the periphery. we are told, oh, it is not against you. you know? on the access level, everyone understands when you deploy such systems to our borders -- all experts understand that. they say it is not against you. even when we offer them to find some small paper, legally binding paper, which would say it is not. our american partners refuse to do even that small thing.
this is nonsense. today this paper, tomorrow you sell it away. have we mentioned many times before you have to do something this is the arms race. it would be much better to look at this problem if you have any missile threats made direction. resolve the issue together. this find -- to find how we're 0going to execute together. but no. they don't want to. of course, we will continue to be patient. in any case it will do anything that we can to guarantee the security of the russian people.
>> today the heritage foundation hosted a discussion that will feature russian expert and former state department and c.i.a.d adviser. live coverage begins at 10:00 a.m. on c-span. >> next a discussion about surveillance with former c.i.a. and n.s.a. director and washington post reporter. then q&a on the book "the price of silence." then your calls and comments on "the "washington journal"." >> our colleagues have spent this evening reiterating
inaccurate factual information. he has said in his report that in spite of the fact that my colleagues said that he laughs and cries then is factual inaccurate. her see rebrail cortext has been liquid fied. they talk about six neurologists who say she is not in a vegetation state. also, inaccurate. they only viewed teri videotape. those who have examined teri, who have all examined her, the board certified neurologist who have testimony.
their testimony was clear and and conveniencing that she was in and is in a vegetation state. the other testimony was discounted. in addition to that, i want to close with the commentary fro. he put his face up to hers and tried to make eye contact trying to willing her to giving him a sign partnership would beg her, please teri, help me. you want to believe there is a connection. you want her to sit up in bed and say don't tell anybody or i'm here and tell everybody. she never made eye contact with them. he never got a sign. he said i felt like there was something distinctive about whoever teri is. during the 30 days, she was
plagued by nightmares. >> he said he does not speak. >> find more highlights from 35 years of house floor coverage on our facebook page. c-span created by america's cable companies 35 years ago and brought to you today by your local satellite or cable provider. >> next a discussion about n.s.a. intelligence collection and surveillance. speakers include michael hayden.
the two-hour event was hosted in washington, d.c. >> we're really privileged to have two people who know the nsm s.a. extremely well from different perspectives.pers generally michael hayden is a retired four-star general who served as director of the c.i.aa and n.s.a. among many other appointments in his nearly 40-year career. he was appointed director of the n.s.a. by president clinton and served 1999-2005. after his time in the n.s.a., he went on to serve as the first principal director, the highest
intelligence officer in the the armed forces. arm in may of 2006, president bush appointed him the director ofth the c.i.a. and he served there until 2009. he is a frequent comment tater to many news outlets. he's currently in a principle in the church group and a professog at mason university.sa he has met snowden several times.seve >> in person once. >> ok, gelman spent 21 years on the staff of the washington post, which i will mention a few.few. his first pulitzer was in 2002 for reporting on theting
september 11 attacks. his second was awarded in 2008n for the series of dick cheney's presidency that went on to being his best-selling book. that book of won the los angeles times book prize and named new york times best book of 2008. he is a senior fellow at the century foundation and lectureyo and audience and residence of print on the woodrow school. he returned to the post in 2013 after receiving various n.s.a. documents from edward snowden.om with his colleagues, he has broken stories about many of the things that were going to be discussing tonight. so i would like to have you join me in welcoming our distinguished speakers and the national audience of c-span.